How Steven Lenhart set up Jamison Olave

I am by no stretch an expert on a lot of things, but one thing I am clear on is that everyone in MLS now knows how fast Jamison Olave is, and we only need to look to Saturday night for proof that Steven Lenhart knows it.

So to make my case I am going to show you two clips, first this is angle that was used by San Jose's broadcast team and the MLS feed of the match:




In a play that could easily have been whistled for offsides (hard to see from replays) but Lenhart either has gotten a burst of speed or his starting position was behind the RSL back line, luckily for RSL the speed of Jamison Olave is usually enough to close the gap and stop attacking runs like the one Lenhart is making, notice the closing of the gap and the speed at which it happens as entry 1 in my case that Olave was set up.

You can watch the replay over and over again, and you will see that Olave needed to make no contact with Lenhart, he knew that Lenhart couldn't take a shot without another touch and that he would be in front of him before he could get back to the ball.

You can get the other video view (from the RSL/ABC4 feed) which will provide a bit more clarity on the events in question:

So as we set the stage for clip number two, put yourself in the mind of Lenhart who thinks he has a one on one break-a-way with Nick Rimando, a battle he may or may not win, but then realizes that Jamison Olave has closed that gap and will in a step in fact be in front of him and his chance at getting off a shot will be gone. So he does something very smart, he hooks Olave's arm and reaches across Olave's body to grab a handful of trunks to pull the defender into his path and create a foul. It is a brilliant play, and because he know that the officials are behind him they will never see what he does, but they will just see him spilling to the ground and playing the innocent victim.

Oh we know that he is great at doing that, funny thing is the official was aware of what he was doing and had just issued him a yellow card for trying to pull Nat Borchers to the ground using the same tactic. One has to wonder why the official in this case gave him the benefit of the doubt and reached for the red card, it isn't like the officials aren't aware of the many sins of Steven Lenhart.

Here is clip number two:



I think if you watch that second clip you are left with two clear points, Steven Lenhart is a damn good at getting under peoples skin (he always has been) and he has a career in sales when he is done playing soccer because he sure looks like he could sell ice to eskimos.

Now for those who are still unconvinced that Jamison did nothing wrong, there is little that I can say or show you that would change your mind, but I believe it is clear that not only was this not a red card (Olave was the last man and if you think he committed a foul it still isn't a red card, because Lenhart didn't have control of the balls so no clear goal scoring opportunity was denied), but it likely wasn't a foul by Olave but rather by Lenhart.

Now some of you will be asking why I didn't think that RSL would win an appeal of this red card, and that is fair. It isn't about any anti- RSL bias, but it is about the fact that I believe that MLS and the 3 person review group will be very, very tough to convince in this appeal process. In this case it would likely come down to the fact that you would need to see the play from several angles to have doubt put in your mind on the call.

So those are my thoughts on it, Olave got jobbed.

OFF MY SOAPBOX

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